But I think some of this may more generally apply to the Gen Xers as I don't think my situation was atypical:
(1) My parents divorced when I was young and I was raised by my mother.
Although a pretty adventurous lass, she didn't know how to sail. Most kids are taught how to sail by their dads and grandfathers, most likely. Hardly anyone of my generation knows how to sail.
(2) College tuition tripled, and the real minimum wage hit a 30 year low.
Combined, this meant working your way through college was no longer an option for pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstrap types, the kind of weirdos who tend to take to sailing
. Faced with the choice of signing up to go to Iraq, or taking out student loans, I did the later. $700 a month student loan payments take a lot of the potential adventure out of your 20s.
(3) Middle class jobs went away, health insurance and other costs skyrocketed.
If you've got a white collar job, it's hard to ask for the weeks off to go for a cruise when your Starbucks barista has an MS in engineering. Fear and debt again.